Vintage Guitars Are Not That Expensive

Discussion in 'Vintage Tele Discussion Forum (pre-1974)' started by Treeface, Jun 24, 2019.

  1. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    In '84 I was building sailboats at for Hank Hinckley Jr of Hinckley Yachts in Bar Harbor.
    We had a contract for a 52' with a base price of about $200k, and the customer had added options bringing it to over $1 million.
    Hank Jr was a little tight for cash at the time, as the custom Yacht business can be fickle, and his old man had sold the Hinckley brand so he had to build under a different name.
    This customer handed Hank a check for $100k and said build me a second boat and I'll figure out what to do with it when it's done.

    Seems the customer could drop $100k as casually as tipping the bartender.

    The boat shop is a dangerous place, two stories high with boats in cradles and cranes etc, staging and ladders with big power tools everywhere and toxic chemicals wafting through the air.
    Nothing but careful handling preventing stuff from falling off the boat decks being built etc, and they would shift in the cradles now and then so we'd have to level them up again, by hand, shifting the tonnage with four huge screws per hull.

    The customer had his three 5-7yo kids running around the shop with a new puppy for days.
    We were pretty well horrified at the casual attitude, but couldn't tell the kids to stay out because of the big check.
    Included in the '52 price was a pair of Ruger Mini 14's in stainless, in case of pirates.
    Sensible enough, that.
     
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  2. beninma

    beninma Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Another point in favor of a gratuitous guitar purchase instead of a car, or a pool, or a boat is that you can play the heck out of that guitar every day if you want to.

    You're not going to be sitting there going "Can't play my guitar today cause it's winter", etc..

    Granted if you're a gazillionaire you probably don't care.
     
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  3. dkmw

    dkmw Friend of Leo's

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    Lol, this car/boat/ guitar thing is right down my alley. I recently sold sold some things that put a lot of cash in my hands. I decided to treat myself to a purchase of $15-20K.

    I briefly considered looking for a guitar, probably a 55 or 56 Goldtop, or a 57-59 Special. It would be unlikely to lose much value, if at all. And I’d get to play it the rest of my life.

    Or I could buy a 2007-2009 Boxster. I have 40 years of brand loyalty to BMW, but I’ve driven many Porsches over the years and always sort of wanted one. But they are $$$$ to own, between insurance, maintenance, and repairs.

    I’ve owned boats most of my life too, but have sold them all off now. I’m very familiar with the constant outflow of $$$ that accompanies boat ownership.

    I figured I didn’t deserve the guitar, I’m not at all a great player. The Boxster was speaking to me, and since I don’t own boats anymore I could just substitute the expense of the Porsche.

    So I blew a little over $20K on an almost cherry 2007 with 34K miles. I’m driving the h out of it before I get too old to do so:):cool: I get to listen to chain-driven cam flat 6 music every time I run it.
     
  4. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    At this point I think a great sports car/ race car would be the best return for anyone who loves to performance drive.
    I can see a boat being supremely satisfying too, but you have to have a lot of free time to enjoy it, plus make a lot of money in the time that isn't free.
    Truly awesome used cars can be had for really not huge money these days, since they became toys of the rich long enough ago to be plentiful on the used market.
    It's funny how fast cars used to be mostly owned by greased up hobby mechanics and race drivers.
    Now all the $50-100k fast cars I see are driven by elderly men at below the speed limit.
    Plus there are these collaborations between affordable builders and non affordable builders leading to Lamborghini's under $100k.
    New Toyota hitting the street with BMW under the skin, could be affordable when I'm an elderly man that drives below the speed limit.
     
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  5. deytookerjaabs

    deytookerjaabs Friend of Leo's

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    It's not a collector vs player thing...as obviously there's still players who covet expensive vintage guitars then some who become collectors themselves.


    But it's collecting and certain collectors/collections that have absolutely driven up those prices to a extreme beyond what they were in the late 70's/80's & even the early 90's. Guitars are just easy to hoard. The stock on market has dried up considerably since the 90's.
     
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  6. fenderchamp

    fenderchamp Tele-Afflicted

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    on the OP's part I think
     
  7. noah330

    noah330 Friend of Leo's

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    Modern vs vintage is too much of a blanket statement. I would rather have a new R8 over a "vintage" Grand Prix or something.
     
  8. beninma

    beninma Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Lots of truth here.

    But a boat also requires you to live right near the water to get your money's worth.

    A car requires you to live somewhere the car can actually be enjoyed.

    I live in neither of those places. I'd have to drive 2 hours or more away from my house on a weekend to actually enjoy a sports car. Traffic has gotten that bad. Not what I want to do on my weekend I guess.

    Guitars only require you to be able to play at a volume that doesn't bother anyone... either playing quietly or living where you can play loudly without bothering anyone. Both of those options seem easier to come by than moving to where a Sports car or Boat can be really enjoyed.

    Boats and cars are just so much money and take so much storage space if you're not really enjoying them.

    Lot of truth to neat stuff being affordable after it's tossed aside by the ultra wealthy. Fancy toys have their value plummet because the rich only value them when you're brand new. Having a brand new high end toy clearly signals you can spend a lot more than having an older high end toy does.

    For cars it seems like plenty of high end gasoline powered cars might be even more affordable used as some of the people who would have bought them brand new are looking at $100k Teslas instead.
     
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  9. chris m.

    chris m. Poster Extraordinaire

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    A kayak, canoe, or small dinghy/skiff can bring as much joy on the water as a fancy yacht, at much lower cost, just as a basic electric guitar can, too.... If we are focused on using stuff to do things rather than focusing on earning $$ to buy collectible things.
     
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  10. _Presto_

    _Presto_ TDPRI Member

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    Are you sure it’s a sandwich? Are the fillings original? Are you sure it wasn’t toasted at some point?

    Better jump on a plane and take it to your nearest authority! Don’t worry if you spend a tonne doing this - it’s maybe worth $15k!
     
  11. noah330

    noah330 Friend of Leo's

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    Yeah both about $1400 more than they should be!
     
  12. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I bought a '65 Mustang in 1980 for $50, tossed everything but the neck, made a new body and bought a new Dimarzio super distortion and an old Gibson P-90, and played that for maybe five years then traded the neck for some parts to build an Esquire.
    It was my first electric and first partscaster project so just about right.
     
  13. aging_rocker

    aging_rocker Tele-Meister

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    If you have the funds and the inclination, then collect what you like. I fully get the appeal of a nice example of a 'vintage' guitar, although I personally find the prices they go for these days are crazy.

    Maybe, just maybe, if I had the pocket change of Jeff Bezos I might consider paying a 5 figure sum for an old guitar. Otherwise, nope, I'll buy a new one which will probably be a much better instrument

    However, when I see what seems to be any old rubbish which is merely 'old' being touted as a 'vintage' instrument and therefore of some value, I get puzzled.

    I'm old enough to remember the quality of some of those '60s & '70s guitars that we had to learn on and that are now apparently collectable, and they were often appalling. I always remember the very first time I got to play on a 'quality' instrument (Gibson SG) and the jaw-dropping revelation about how much 'easier' it was to play than the random cr@p I'd been exposed to previously. I was lucky enough to be able to own a couple of guitars that would today be considered collectable (long gone now), but I got them cheap when they were at the bottom of their price 'curve'. They were OK, but nothing that special, and I wouldn't pay anything like the money for them that they are now apparently worth.

    A 'basic' Squier or Epi these days is, and always will be a far better instrument than a lot of that rubbish. Will anyone be paying 5 or 6 figure sums for an 'unmodified' Squier Bullet Tele in 50 years, just because it's 50 years old?

    Get off my lawn...

    Edited: because I can
     
  14. Jupiter

    Jupiter Telefied Silver Supporter

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    Man, when you do the math like that, the 50s tele sounds like the only reasonable choice!!
     
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  15. Guitardvark

    Guitardvark Tele-Meister

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    cant even make myself happy with a cheap 15k vintage guitar anymore. whats my life come to>?

    what I need is the recreational procreation program at the Cat Ranch :)
     
  16. Hk22045

    Hk22045 NEW MEMBER!

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    Just got really turned on to teisco. Bought 6 in the last six months. Fantastic value for the money. A few were as brand new condition cleaned. Restrung and they are players
     
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  17. leftyfrank

    leftyfrank TDPRI Member

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    Good for you! Enjoy, happiness is fleeting. I'm sure it's better than the 1968 Silvertone w/amp in case I saw at a local GC a few months back for about $500. It looked it's age and
     
  18. leftyfrank

    leftyfrank TDPRI Member

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    Good for you! Enjoy, happiness is fleeting. I'm sure it's better than the 1968 Silvertone w/amp in case I saw at a local GC a few months back for about $500. It looked it's age and just seemed cheap, I wanted to like it cause I had one back in the day.
     
  19. Charlodius

    Charlodius Tele-Meister

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    53976531-F41F-491B-9524-0FB54F6888A5.jpeg Want a killer vintage guitar for not that much money? Find a 1980 Ibanez AR50. It was the least expensive artist that year, but it has the coveted alnico -8 Super 70s pickups that are absolutely amazing and the overall build quality is stellar. Run you maybe $500 or so. Will destroy guitars two to three times the price.
     
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  20. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Those '80s Artists are nice, I had one a couple of models up with a not really flamey top and sold it for $700 in 2006 IIRC.
    They do have some collector value yet are good deals for the money.
    Similarly '80s Tokai, Fernandes, ESP, MIJ Epiphone, MIJ Fender, all are great and not expensive for legit vintage guitars.

    Vintage isn't just old.

    Vintage comes from wine lingo and refers to a fine vintage, or a better than average production era.
    30-40 year old Japanese guitars are some of my and many others favorite vintages.
    While some of us grab them when we see good deals, they still haven't really caught on as the fine vintage guitars that they often are.

    '80s Tokai's do bring good money though, and it's funny because some were made on the same assembly line as MIJ Fenders, but the Tokai brand brings twice the money for nearly the same guitar.
    I think the '80s MIJ Epiphones are priced pretty high now if you can find one, they seem pretty rare.
     
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